Nicholson News

Nicholson Alumni Take Center Stage in Emmy Nominations

October 27, 2017

Ten Nicholson School of Communication alumni can now add “Emmy-nominated” to their résumés, as their work is being considered as among the best in the Suncoast region for 2017. This year’s list of Emmy nominees includes Kaitlyn Chana (’13), Devan Coffaro (’15), Russell Colburn (’10), Krystal Diaz (’10), Valencia King (’14), Victoria Lyons (’06), Allison McGinley (’96), Kayla O’Brien (’13), Jason Olson (’02), and Stephanie Zaurin (’12).

For Lyons, the news was a great start to her Monday, when the nominations came out. “I was walking my dog and got a text from my colleague Jason (Olson). He said ‘Congratulations on your Emmy nomination!’ I was like – ‘Wait, what??’”

That shock quickly turned to pride for Lyons, who has been nominated for an Emmy once before.

“This one is really special because I really feel like I had a lot to do with this one,” said Lyons, who is a producer at WKMG News 6 in Orlando. “It’s always a team effort, but I really had a lot to do with changing the show completely in a short period of time and I’m really proud of the work we did. It means a lot that people are recognizing you for a job you love to do and you get to do every day.”

Lyons is currently the producer for the 11 p.m. newscast at WKMG, and has previously worked at three other stations. However, she points to the foundations she developed at NSC as setting her up for success. “To be honest, I wouldn’t be a producer if it weren’t for Knightly News and the Nicholson School,” Lyons said. “Like a lot of people, I came to school wanting to be a reporter. I remember Dr. Tim Brown encouraged me to try producing as well, and I found that I really enjoyed it. I’ve been one ever since. But because in school we had to do all the jobs in a newsroom, I came out with a real appreciation for what everyone has to do to get the news on the air. That has really helped me throughout my career.”

Diaz shared the same sentiment, remembering the lessons she learned as a student.

“The professors kept it real with me from the start – the sacrifices and struggles that would come with a life in news,” said Diaz. “it prepared me for what was ahead. The friendships I made through the program still hold strong today. They helped shape me into the journalist, and now Emmy-nominated news producer, I am. For the young journalists in the making – know the road is rocky, but worth it in the end. And an Emmy or two doesn’t hurt!”

  • Diaz and King , Evening Newscast category, “Pulse One Year Later,” WFTV Orlando
  • Olson and Lyons, Evening Newscast, “Arrest of Markeith Loyd,” WKMG-TV
  • McGinley Continuing Coverage – No Time Limit, “Pulse: The Survivors and the Victims,” WKMG-TV
  • Russell Colburn, Team Coverage, “Hurricane Matthew,” WJAX/WFOX-TV
  • O’Brien, Business/Consumer – Program, “Orlando Sentinel Snapshot: Attractions,” Orlando Sentinel
  • Coffaro, Health/Science, “Emergency Room Scorecard: How Long Are You Waiting?” WALA-TV
  • Zaurin, Human Interest – Program Special, “Lifeline: The Untold Story of Saving the Pulse Survivors,” OneBlood
  • Chana, Talent – Reporter, Feature/Human Interest, “Real People. Real Stories,” WJAX/WFOX-TV

Emmy awards recognize excellence in television news, sports, commercial and studio production. The Suncoast Chapter includes Florida, Puerto Rico, and parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. Emmy recipients will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.